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June 22, 2009 / Bo Mackison

Poppies on the Summer Solstice

The Brightest of Red Flowers

The Brightest of Reds

We found poppies growing in dozens of gardens on the Door County peninsula, many in gardens that have been tended for generations. Huge flower petals and a black center make these tall flowers a delight in a mixed perennial garden. The petals are so thin that they wave undulate in the air, almost in dancing waves. I had a great time photographing these particular flowers, waiting for gentle winds to hide or expose the black centers for my photographs. When I scanned the many photographs quickly on my computer, it was like looking through a flip book, and it reproduced the movements of the poppies. A movie of dancing poppies!

Poppies have a long history of cultivation as an ornamental and medicinal plant, from as early as 5,000 BC in Mesopotamia. They have been found in Egyptian tombs. They are mentioned in Greek mythology, the poppy being associated with Demeter, the goddess of agriculture. Folklore has it that if poppies in fields grow bountifully, then the food crops will be bountiful as well. This is why the Oriental poppy is sometimes referred to as the corn poppy, “korn” being the Greek word for grain.


  1. mike / Jun 22 2009 12:38 pm

    Those look beautiful. I have not seen any here.

  2. Robin / Jun 22 2009 12:41 pm

    Oh! They’re beautiful, Bo. You captured them perfectly.

    Poppies are one of my favorite flowers of summer.

  3. Carsten / Jun 22 2009 3:42 pm

    Thanks for another beautiful image. I really like poppies. They are so intense the few days they present their vivid colors.

  4. kcjewel / Jun 22 2009 5:30 pm

    beautiful poppy photo… all of the poppy’s lives make for nice photographs!

  5. jeju / Jun 22 2009 7:59 pm

    beautiful! i love the composition and the color. really striking. 🙂

  6. montucky / Jun 22 2009 10:46 pm

    Pretty flowers! We have about a dozen that come up every year all on their own. We’ve begun to protect their area and enjoy seeing them every summer.

  7. Debi / Jun 23 2009 7:34 am

    Dancing red poppies bring back warm memories of my childhood, Bo. These are so beautiful!

  8. ceanothe / Jun 23 2009 3:21 pm

    Very nice shot, thank you !

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